Home / Companies / News /  The MNCs failing to see the emissions from business air travel

A vast majority of large multinationals, including in India, may be failing to set or meet ambitious targets to cut emissions caused by corporate air travel, shows a new study by Travel Smart, a global campaign to reduce business travel emissions.

Wipro is the highest ranked among the 10 Indian companies on the list, which is compiled based on several indicators, including whether a company reports its travel emissions, whether it has set a reduction target, and if it has, by how much and how soon.

Globally, only 50 companies out of 322 analyzed in the study have set targets to reduce corporate flying emissions. These companies aim to reduce such emissions by a range of 2-72% from their 2019 levels, but the timelines also vary.

Tech giants such as Alphabet, Meta and Netflix are part of the top 10 list of corporations that have high business travel emissions but have not yet set targets for reducing them, as per information submitted to the campaign.

Travel Smart is a global campaign led by The European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), an environmental non-governmental organization, with a coalition of partners across Europe, North America and Asia. The study covered some of the largest companies from 17 countries in terms of market capitalization, workforce size, and business travel emissions.

The campaign aims to bring down corporate travel emissions by half from 2018 or 2019 levels by 2025 or sooner. It says it would be halfway through to this target if just 10% of the largest emitters by ranking in the study committed to it. But only nine companies worldwide have reported air travel emissions and have shown commitment to this goal, showed an analysis of Travel Smart’s data.

Wipro was able to reduce its air travel emissions by 15-20% between 2015 and 2020, showed the campaign’s latest result. However, it made it to only the second-best of four grades of companies in the study because it didn’t satisfy all criteria for a high score.

Several Indian companies have set plans to go net neutral by or before 2050. A latest CDP report on companies that reported environmental transparency information shows that about 37% of 122 companies analyzed have intensity-based emission reduction targets, 34% have absolute targets, and 9% have both.

Infosys (75% reduction) and Wipro (55% reduction) are two examples of Indian companies that have set absolute targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Tata Consultancy Services (70%) believes it will get there by 2025.

Manjul Paul
Manjul Paul is a data journalist. She joined Mint in October 2021. Previously, she worked witth the Reuters polling team in Bangalore as a correspondent for four years.
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